Red Deer middle school unveils new teepee

St. Thomas Aquinas Middle School in Red Deer has unveiled a new teepee.

The structure was blessed by local elder Corky Jonasson in the school’s courtyard during a ceremony Friday.

School principal Ryan Sawula said the teepee will provide students, staff and parents with an opportunity to experience a “key piece” of Indigenous culture.

“We are blessed to have a connection with local elders and knowledge keepers, and are honoured to learn and journey together in community,” said Sawula.

Selena Frizzley, the First Nations, Metis and Inuit support team lead teacher at Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools, said the teepee is “seen as a movement forward in circle teachings and as an act of reconciliation with our Indigenous people.

“It will be an important piece to receive teepee teachings from Indigenous elders and knowledge keepers. This school will become a model for our division in weaving Indigenous teachings into daily practices,” said Frizzley.

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